2022 Hyundai Kona N

The 2022 Hyundai Kona N is a highly anticipated addition to the Korean automaker’s performance lineup. This compact SUV boasts a turbocharged engine, upgraded suspension, and aggressive styling, making it a formidable contender in the hotly contested subcompact SUV segment. With a focus on driving dynamics and a host of advanced technology features, the Kona N promises to deliver an exhilarating and engaging driving experience that is sure to appeal to driving enthusiasts and everyday commuters alike.

Hyundai N is the performance division of Hyundai Motor Company, and it is dedicated to creating vehicles that offer exhilarating driving experiences. The letter “N” stands for Namyang, the location of Hyundai’s global research and development center in South Korea, as well as the Nürburgring, the famous racetrack in Germany where Hyundai N conducts extensive testing and development. The goal of Hyundai N is to create high-performance vehicles that are fun to drive, while also leveraging the latest in automotive technology to deliver the best possible driving experience.

EXTERIOR/INTERIOR

In Ultra Black, the 2022 Hyundai Kona N boasts a bold and aggressive exterior design that distinguishes it from the standard Kona model. The front grille features a distinctive N-logo, and the lower front fascia has been redesigned for improved aerodynamics and cooling. LED headlights with a unique signature design are standard, as are LED taillights with a horizontal light bar that spans the width of the rear end.

Sporty and sleek, the 2022 Hyundai Kona N’s black interior includes black leather sport seats with bolstered sides and the N logo for comfort and support during aggressive driving. A leather-wrapped, flat-bottomed steering wheel with a red center mark and metal pedals add to the sporty feel. The dashboard features a 10.25-inch touchscreen display with the latest infotainment system, and a customizable digital gauge cluster sits behind the steering wheel.

Equipped with N-specific features, the Kona N boasts launch control, the N Grin Control System for adjusting performance settings including throttle response, suspension stiffness, and exhaust sound. Additionally, the N Sound Equalizer enhances the engine and exhaust note to match the selected driving mode. High-performance brakes, a sport-tuned suspension, and an electronically controlled limited-slip differential improve handling and traction.

PERFORMANCE

Performance is a key aspect of the 2022 Hyundai Kona N. Powered by a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine, it delivers an impressive 276 horsepower and 289 lb-ft of torque. This engine is paired with an eight-speed dual-clutch transmission that provides quick and precise shifts, and a launch control system that helps the Kona N sprint from 0 to 60 mph in just 5.5 seconds.

The Kona N also features a sport-tuned suspension with larger stabilizer bars, stiffer springs, and adaptive dampers that automatically adjust to changing road conditions. An electronically controlled limited-slip differential helps distribute power to the wheels for improved handling and traction, while the high-performance brakes provide confident stopping power.

Drivers can also customize the Kona N’s performance characteristics using the N Grin Control System, which allows them to adjust various settings including throttle response, suspension stiffness, and exhaust sound. The N Sound Equalizer enhances the engine and exhaust note to match the selected driving mode, providing an immersive and engaging driving experience.

COMPETITION

The 2022 Hyundai Kona N faces some tough competition in the high-performance compact crossover segment, and let’s compare it to its closest rivals:

  1. Volkswagen Golf R: The Golf R is a perennial favorite in the hot hatchback segment, boasting a similar powertrain to the Kona N with 315 horsepower and 310 lb-ft of torque. However, the Kona N has the advantage of a larger cargo area and more standard features, such as a 10.25-inch touchscreen and a customizable digital gauge cluster.
  2. Subaru WRX: The WRX is known for its all-wheel drive system and rally-inspired performance, but its power output of 268 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque falls short of the Kona N’s numbers. The WRX does offer more rear seat legroom and a smoother ride, however.
  3. Honda Civic Type R: The Civic Type R is a front-wheel drive hatchback with a potent 2.0-liter turbocharged engine that produces 306 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque. It offers a more spacious cabin and larger cargo area than the Kona N, but lacks the Kona’s unique styling and features.

Overall, the 2022 Hyundai Kona N stacks up well against its competition with its potent powertrain, sport-tuned suspension, and unique N-specific features. While it may not have the all-wheel drive system of some rivals, it makes up for it with its bold and aggressive design, standard equipment, and customizable performance settings.

Conclusion

The total cost of the 2022 Hyundai Kona N that we test drove for a week was $35,445, which includes the MSRP of $34,200 along with the additional cost of freight and handling.


Photo Credit: Copyright 2023 Angel Mosqueda / Car Fanatics Blog

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